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  • Writer's pictureKralingen

Burnout Solution 11: Embracing the animal inside

Right now, you are in survival mode. Your body and mind are embracing your lizard and monkey brains to rewire a few things for the better. By now you'll also have noticed how excruciating that process is. It's called a burnout for a reason. And to add a little more sarcasm here: burnout ain't for the faint of heart. You have a long, hard road ahead of you. The less you think and the more you feel, the shorter the road. So, be like an animal and embrace your survival mode fully.

"Don't think, become". That's the main message from the brilliant animation series Trollhunters by Academy Award winner Guillermo del Toro. In my worst moments, when I was shaking constantly from an anxiety disorder, this series gave me an insight into what was really going on with me. I was overthinking everything. Instead of grabbing my guitar, I was musing over how it would be to play. Instead of punching my frustrations away on my punching bag (photo of this blog!) I let them simmer. And instead of healthily shedding some tears about my misfortune I kept wallowing in pride, refusing to cry. After seeing Trollhunters, I knew what I had to do. I had to just 'do', instead of think. Instead of saying I was a musician I should just play and be one. Instead of only talking about my emotions I should just feel them and let them in. Your animal-like emotions have a function. Feelings are not facts of course. But acknowledging them first and then letting them out second, is the best way to start purging you of all the negative. Feeling angry? Let it out. Scream, rage and punch (the punching bag of course, not real people!!!). Cry about your burnout. Let those tears flow and don't stop them until they are all out. It'll be painful at first but very soon that pain will be replaced by a sense of relief. Even if you feel that you are, you really are not alone in this process. Millions upon millions have gone before you and will follow you when you have already recovered. And all of as are animals inside. Whether it was all the social media noise, the conditions at your job, the relationships you were in or the pressures of modern life, you've fallen into a burnout because you've neglected your real feelings for too long. Especially those that are negative. Feeling bad is simply good. It's functional. Listen to it. Let it out. Be the animal you are inside. And start doing the things you want to do, however small the steps you need to take to get there. That survival mode is here for a reason. Don't think. Become. Love, as always,


And check out the books Restart - Burnout Recovery From a Patient Perspective and of course The Whole Story - The Ultimate Guide to Storytelling.


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